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Yesterday in La Crosse

A $10 million wish list, 67 years ago



In 1951, La Crosse city leaders were discussing an improvement plan with a total cost over $10 million.  A new high school to replace Central on Cass Street was on the list.  That school wasn’t built until the mid-60’s.  A new City Hall was on the wish list, too, along with a George Street viaduct and the future Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium.

Leonard Roraff became a judge for La Crosse in 1951, appointed by the governor to replace Judge Robert Cowie, who died that year.  Helping out in La Crosse County courts was Judge Bruce Beilfuss of Neillsville, who later became Wisconsin’s chief justice.

“Grape-Nut” wasn’t just a cereal in 1951.  It was also an ice cream flavor at Art’s Dairyland Ice Cream at West Avenue and State Street.  That store would later become Mr. D’s Donuts, but it sold ice cream in 1951, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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